Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 11:36 AM - General Posted by Administrator
We’re well into the new year and most of us are back to business as usual. If you haven’t already, it’s time to review your business’ progress over 2011 and make business resolutions to help you get the most out of 2012. Here are a few to get you started on planning and setting goals for the new year.
1) Update Your Business Plan Keeping your business plan up to date gives you the chance to see where your business currently stands, and can help you develop a strategy for growth. Have your goals changed? Has the market changed? Using your vision and mission as the foundation, set new goals. Be ambitious.
2) Commit to Strategy Before Tactics Once you’ve defined the exact person, business or problem that embodies your ideal client you need to craft a way to communicate why your specific product or service produces greater value than every other option. You then need to commit to using this strategy to guide you for every marketing decision that follows – including product/service mix, pricing, identity elements, customer service and hiring.
3) Create a Tactical Road Map Consider how to get in front of prospects and customers alike. Map out ongoing touchpoint opportunities through multiple channels to generate active lead generation.
Define specific actions or tasks that will you help carry out your strategy. Take into consideration the cost as well as the amount of sales you’ll need to cover the costs. Will you need new staff to handle your marketing efforts or new business? Be prepared for changes in the way you do business.
Break down your plan into monthly, weekly and daily activities. Make sure you schedule the time to do what's necessary. Don't be afraid to use external support to accomplish your goals.
4) Integrate a lead conversion process To help convert leads into customers you should consider developing a system to nurture and track campaigns across all channels. Create a closed-loop follow-up process so leads don’t slip through the cracks. Establish a lead qualification process to make sure all sales reps use the same consistent methodology. What is your response when a prospect requests more information? How will you orient a new customer?
Track your performance relative to your various marketing initiatives in order to measure campaign effectiveness.
As you achieve your goals be sure to take time to celebrate every success, big and small. With each celebration your confidence and commitment will grow making it easier to reach your ambitious goals.
Need help? Contact us today to discuss your plans for acquisition and business development. 416.441.2666 x 14
A while back I came across some fantastic forced perspective street art while doing some client research. These works were not only created on a fairly grand scale but the degree of difficulty is just off the scales. This sort of work takes a lot of patience, foresight, skill and talent.
While the research I was conducting had more to do with a blending of classical art with the grunge of street art – it never occurred to me how much potential this kind of perspective art could have in a design context – especially in terms of signage and branding applications.
Here is a design concept for parking garage signage in Melbourne, Australia that uses this simple approach to create powerful and evocative imagery. This is a relatively dated piece (2008 by Axel Peemoeller) so it's nothing too novel today but surprisingly, I don't think I have come across anything else like this since then.
Until now that is ...
While the design concept above was quite unique and interesting – it wasn't 100% effective in my opinion. This sort of approach requires the typography to be seen from a specific angle for it to read properly. And since cars will be moving all the time when travelling through these ramps, that perfect perspective will only be seen in a small window of a few seconds. Anyway, I may just be nitpicking but I do believe it still works because the messages are relatively simple and the graphics are on a large enough scale for people not to grasp on.
So what have I seen lately that I think is working in the perfect context for this type of graphic design? Our very own Toronto Raptors' homecourt. This is quite new to me, but its apparently old news in the European sports world. Regardless, the Toronto Raptors are the first NBA organization to use the following "3D technology" for their baseline wordmark.
New or not, I think this approach works much better in this context then that of a car park simply because the viewpoint is controlled and consistent for television broadcast. If it's your first time seeing this too, then you'll definitely catch yourself doing a few double-takes when you see players, refs, basketballs, etc pass over the banner.
Just a well-thought out example of a simple design and application of typography going the distance; it's visually appealing, very readable and cost-effective. So much for technology ...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012, 10:17 AM - General Posted by Administrator
Are you using your teenage daughter’s Facebook to get the word out? Are you hounding your staff about Tweeting on the job? Was your website built by your sisters son’s best friend’s cousin? Don’t just play Mafia Wars or Retweet because he’s your buddy. Use the tools for a purpose.
It’s time to take control and face reality: social media plays one of the largest roles in marketing today. Do you have a social media plan? You should. It’s as important today as a business or marketing plan is. Everyone uses social media today or at least those who are social do. But to do it right takes time and effort to learn what the tools mean.
Things to consider: Try to post positive tips more than self-promotional ones, at least four or five times more. One of the top reasons people unfollow is because of overwhelming marketing, boring or repetitive posts.
Retweet an article because it makes good business sense to you and your clients. Make sure the offering is sound. Link it to your Facebook page or latest news from your company blog.
Spread your posts out so that when your followers log in, they’re not inundated with only your posts. It’s a sure way to get unfollowed.
Always try to put a link in a post for more information. You can only say so much in Social Media. Use simple and positive language. Remember that it is ‘social’ media. Include an action phrase to motivate your followers like saying ‘please retweet or please like. Research shows that more LIKES are made on posts at the end of the week, so make the ones on Friday count. Be polite. Thank your followers for retweeting or mentioning. It’s all about relationship-building.
Remember that when sending email newsletters to customers and prospects that they need to benefit from the message or they’ll opt-out from further mailings. It’s not just about you.
If you can keep these basics in your head, they’ll help you become more social. The Internet’s not going away, so leverage it’s power and grow your business!
What is the most important challenge facing your organization this year? Survey Says…
Friday, December 30, 2011, 09:15 AM - General Posted by Administrator
This question was posed to both clients and colleagues through two separate surveys - first via Survey Monkey in an email blast, and then through Linkedin. While I had to change the answers somewhat for the Linkedin Survey as it only allows for four – the results are similar.
According to those who replied 'Lead Generation' is the most important challenge facing their organization this year. Or, as stated in our client survey; Increasing the effectiveness of outbound and inbound marketing. This came as no surprise as achieving a better ROI from our marketing dollars has and always will be the primary goal of marketing.
What did surprise me was that more seemed interested in increasing their outbound marketing effectiveness (e.g. direct mail, ads, email marketing, trade shows) over their inbound efforts (e.g. SEO, PPC, Social Media). In this economic environment I assumed that everyone was looking to invest in more cost effective inbound marketing. But as I compared our business I realized that our sales support the results. Mystique still sells more outbound marketing services compared to inbound. However, inbound marketing sales are growing at a quicker pace so the answer may change next year.
Regardless, the best thing about meeting the challenge of increasing the effectiveness of your marketing is that success will solve your number two challenge.